A woman charged with forging a check from a Laramie church was given a split sentence in Albany County District Court Monday, Feb. 13.

Donna Perez, 40, was sentenced to one year in the Albany County Detention Center with credit for time already served, after which she will serve three years of supervised probation.

Perez was arrested after a Laramie police officer’s investigation into a claim that a check from a local church may have been altered by Perez.

The officer learned that the church had given Perez a check in the amount of $100 to help pay for rent. According to court documents the check was altered to $400 by turning the number ‘1’ into ‘4’ as well as changing the written number.

Prosecutor Kurt Britzius said due to the nature of the crime, the state recommended a jail sentence of six months with credit for time served and a period of supervised probation afterward. Britzius said the crime was caused by poverty and that Perez stole only when she had no money.

Albany County Judge Tori Kricken ordered there was to be no contact between Perez and the church, which was unnamed in court documents, however Judge Kricken ordered Perez to draft a letter of apology to the church member who wrote the check, which was to be delivered to her lawyer, Randy Hiller.